King’s Day changes (Or: Celebrations now dubbed “Woningsdag”)

The National Association of King’s Day organizers announced today that Koningsdag (King’s Day) will become Woningsdag (Home Day) this year. Even if you don’t speak Dutch you can see the subtle change in the word to encourage people to stay at home while celebrating Koningsdag.

King’s Day is a day of birthday celebration for King Willem-Alexander who is turning 53 this year. It is a nationally recognized holiday where (most) people don’t need to go in to work. Previously the holiday was known as Koninginnedag or Queen’s Day until Princess Beatrix abdicated the throne in 2013. She also celebrated the day in April, in honor of her mother. Probably a good thing for us as Princess Beatrix was born in late January – brrrr.

Here are some of the activities planned for the Woningsdag later this month:

  • hanging Dutch flags outside (both for the king on his birthday and for each other)
  • bell ringing between 09:45-10:00 throughout the country
  • singing of the national anthem at 10:00
  • NOS (the national broadcaster) will air a program at 10:10 looking at previous King’s Day events
  • a digital market for clothes in the afternoon. I have no idea how they will make that work – but the Dutchies are well known for their King’s Day flea markets. See also:
an old photo from Queen’s Day 2012
  • The king will read some of the digital letters written to him by children
  • At 16:00 there will be a toast to the king in which everyone can participate (woo! alcohol at 16:00!)
  • In the evening NOS (the national broadcaster) will air a program looking at how Woningsdag was celebrated throughout the country

For more information, see:

Koningsdag wordt Woningsdag met digitale kleedjesmarkt en thuistoost (nu.nl)

Kings Day will be celebrated at home this year, with church bells and a toast (dutchnews.nl)

Corona maakt van Koningsdag dit jaar Woningsdag (nos.nl)

Hmm. Right now a Google search for Woningsdag returns just under 8,000 hits. Let’s see how that increases in the next few weeks…

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